Media Beat: February 05, 2018

Bell Media has the top story today with the official launch of its mobile, bite-sized Snackable TV app that has the American comedian and actor Kevin Hart's hit online series Laugh Out Loud in its line-up of top rank content.

Media Beat: February 05, 2018

By David Farrell

Kevin Hart launches Bell Media’s mobile Snackable TV short-form video service

The American comedian and actor’s hit online series Laugh Out Loud  has its official launch today on Snackable TV, Bell’s short-form video content hub available now for IOS and Android users.

The mobile-first app is offering premium and shareable entertainment targeted at viewers looking to consume snack-size pieces of content. An earlier iteration of Snackable TV quietly launched in June 2017 with a limited number of videos pulled from Bell Media’s vast array of content agreements.

Today’s platform has weight behind it, and plenty of content. The ad-supported, free-to-consumer launch initially is to be ad-free, but Bell sees the platform as a new environment for advertisers to connect with consumers utilizing innovative short-form spots.


The service is to offer exclusive short-form, multi-genre content from brands such as HBO, Comedy Central, Just For Laughs, ETalk, Gusto, and today the company announces it has extended LetterKenny, the award-winning Canadian CraveTV sitcom series created by Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney. Content from CTV’s The Launch will add some music content to the service in the first few months.

Snagging the Laugh Out Loud comedy network, a partnership between superstar comedian Kevin Hart and Lionsgate, is going to grab attention. Expect to see a slate of original, scripted, and unscripted comedy series, plus stand-up specials, licensed programming, and live broadcasts.

As of today, the app features 45 series, 30 of which are exclusives, such as HBO’s High Maintenance web series, from Comedy Central, and Bell Media original sci-fi comedy series, Space Riders: Division Earth.

“Today’s launch of Snackable TV represents an opportunity in the short-form content landscape in Canada, and our exciting new content partnerships provide for a healthy beginning in this growing new area,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “As SnackableTV grows, so will its inventory of popular news, comedy, and entertainment offerings as we leverage some of the most sought-after entertainment brands, both in Canada and from around the world.”


“We are excited to expand our reach into Canada through this partnership with new industry innovator Snackable TV,” said Laugh Out Loud founder and driving force Kevin Hart. “We look forward to sharing our bold, diverse, unfiltered slate of programming with our fans in Canada.”

How Bell Let’s Talk became a triple win for BCE, consumers and the mental health cause

In an era of donor fatigue and one-hit wonder online campaigns, BCE’s annual corporate social responsibility effort continues to succeed despite criticism from skeptics – Emily Jackson, Financial Post

YouTube aims at conspiracists and propaganda

YouTube said it is planning changes to give users more context for videos promoting conspiracy theories or state-sponsored content, the latest effort by an internet giant to clean up its platform amid criticism over its role in spreading misinformation.

YouTube said starting Friday it would label all videos coming from what it identifies as state-funded broadcasters, a category that would include even the U.S.’s Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS – Jack Nicas, WSJ

Bell Fund portal open for digital short-form and TV series

Bell Fund deadline for digital short-form scripted fiction and comedy, drama and lifestyle TV series is May 7.

Community internet station eyes move to FM

It's already on the internet, and now an upstart radio station is looking to expand its reach with the use of a mainstream radio transmitter in Grand Falls-Windsor.


Valley Radio (listen here) started its online broadcast in August and now boasts more than 30 hours of unique music and talk programming each week.

The next step is to apply for a licence from the CRTC, and secure space for an over-the-air transmitter, to bring its programs to the FM dial – Garrett Barry, CBC News

Fagstein’s latest media news digest is published

Here’s a sample from it: You might remember some anonymous person complaining to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council that The Weather Network’s 30-day forecast had only 27 or 28 days in it (and other minor errors). When the CBSC ruled such minor errors do not amount to breaches of its code, the complainant took the matter to the CRTC, which found no reason to intervene. We still don’t know the identity of the complainant.


Canada’s first official blockchain ETF

The Ontario Securities Commission has approved Canada's first blockchain exchange-traded fund (ETF), which is set to launch on the Toronto Stock Exchange next week.

Harvest Portfolios, an independent Canadian investment management company, filed the preliminary paperwork for its Blockchain Technologies ETF (ticker: HBLK) in January, seeking to provide Canadian investors with the opportunity to buy into the blockchain technology sector, according to the Globe and Mail.

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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